EU Lays Hammer Down on Car Rental Outfits
(CN) - Car rental companies in Europe must play fair with customers trying to make online reservations for vehicles in other member states, the European Commission said Monday.
The EU's regulatory body sent a letter to six car rental agencies in July after consumers complained of discriminatory practices for online rentals. In addition to automatically rerouting customers after identifying their IP addresses, the companies often listed a different price once customers entered their country of residency on the website - when they could book online at all.
In a recent case, a customer from Germany saw the announced price of a U.K. rental increase by 100 percent when he entered his home country. These discrepancies violate the notion of a single EU market, the commission said.
Regulators added that Europcar, Hertz and Avis face orders to address consumer discrimination concerns, while Sixt, Enterprise and Goldcar responded favorably when contacted.
Consumer complaints against car rental and leasing agencies account for 5.5 percent of all cases handled by the European Consumer Centers Network, according to a statement from the commission.